Here's a look at my land. All of it this time.
The AIs were bogging down researching the post-Nationalism techs as usual, but every now and then I checked the sale prices on my monopoly techs. Rome was getting close to Industrialization, so I pulled the trigger on selling it around, @2nd for Nationalism @6th plus cash, and to three civs for a total of 400/turn. I landed all three Industrial great wonders easily.
And now things get more interesting. First comes a Zulu sneak attack. They're pathetically worthless as a Blood Enemy (they never even got Republic yet), but if somehow they do buy an ally, that'll give me another candidate for Blood Enemy. They would be inconsequential as far as war goes, except for trickling pathetic units at me letting me get a Leader and the Heroic Epic.
Then, Rome demands Sanitation from me! No way am I breaking that monopoly for him, and I'll welcome another choice for Blood Enemy. But, Caesar doesn't declare war.
Then, Spain demands COAL! Spain's the largest AI civ now - having been at war with Babylon for some time and they're winning. I'd love for them to be my Blood Enemy - but Isabella, like Caesar, was bluffing. Dangit.
Then Babylon signs an ally in our phony war.
And another joins in as well, although neither Rome nor Germany qualifies for Blood Enemy yet, as Babylon's war was from a refused tribute demand, not a sneak attack.
I'm still holding out hope to get one of the large, accessible civs as a Blood Enemy - Iroquois, Russia, or Spain. Unfortunately, with Rome declaring war, my hand is forced, thanks to this:
I founded that city there to snag some extra land and try to flip the Roman cities, but now it came back to bite me in a big way. Rome's going to capture that city; I have a knight and a pikeman there, but they won't be enough.
So I must choose my Blood Enemy now: Babylon or Rome. Whichever civ I pick, I'll eliminate before the end of the Industrial Age. I've started to build and position galleons that will set sail as soon as they get upgraded to transports. I'll research Flight while they're sailing, to fly in reinforcements to the beachhead, and then get Motorized Transport to deliver the kill. I'll pause research on Radio until my enemy is eliminated to score the 5% bonus score.
Babylon and Rome have about the same amount of land right now, although Babylon is far weaker. They've been thoroughly gassed by Spain already, have lost a couple cities, and may lose more before I can get there. Rome will have more land for me to take, but will be harder to gas, although I could sign Arabia or Spain as a Blood Brother to help with that.
The clincher is that Rome will get Replaceable Parts before I can get there, which will cost me a number of turns if I choose to stay in the Industrial Age before eliminating them. Also, I'm not above throwing a little emotion into the decision. I've never really minded Rome - they self-destruct more often than not anyway - but Babylon is high on my list of most-hated civs in general. That slimy culture whore must fall! Babylon is my Blood Enemy!
One more civ joined the pile-on, but I signed peace with everybody but Babylon as soon as I could and before anything else happened. In making peace with Rome, Russia, and Germany, I sold around Sci Meth at monopoly to pick up Communism, Free Artistry, and 200/turn cash.
Yeah, Free Artistry. Nobody'd researched it until now, and I'd totally forgotten about Shakespeare's. A quick revisit to my spreadsheet showed that building Hamlet's House even now would pull a city that had no hope of 10,000 culture into reaching that figure easily. The city of Kitchener started on the theatre; it would make good use of the wonder, being a full size 20, and on the fringes such that the WLKTD would help it as well.
I also made peace with the Zulu, and got an interesting concession:
And it even came with a harbor and barracks for me, and a saltpeter resource in third-ring but it would be mine after expansion.
Here's my core as we begin our attack on Babylon.
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